The June 6 editorial “Why Mr. Blair makes sense” claimed I had “declared [I]’d rather divert jobs to neighboring Frederick County than attract them to Montgomery” and asserted that I am known “for opposing development projects of every description.” Neither is true.
I said that if people who bought houses in Frederick had jobs in Frederick, Interstate 270 and other roads would be less clogged with long- distance commuters. I don’t take the insular view that for Montgomery County to prosper, other parts of the region cannot. I have a plan to create, retain and attract good jobs to the county by encouraging entrepreneurship and developing our workforce, building more efficient transit options, ensuring our regulations are sensible and promoting equal opportunity.
I support development when it’s done right and oppose it when it’s done poorly. It is a question of how, not whether, we will grow. Truly smart growth requires investment in schools, roads and transit, and development within widely accepted walkable distances to transit. Too often, those principles haven’t been followed in Montgomery County, and I have been proud to stand with residents who raise concerns about school crowding and traffic congestion that inevitably follow bad planning. I voted for a number of the county’s master plans over the years that weren’t perfect but that accommodated enough concerns for us to move forward.
I support I-270 reversible lanes, MARC expansion and the bus rapid transit system I have been working to get into the county’s master plans for years. These projects are essential for new development.
Marc Elrich, Takoma Park
The writer is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Montgomery County executive.